Big naturals are more than just a body part. They’re an energy, a culture, a lens through which we consume and create the world around us. And while big-breastedness may be both spiritual and bodily, there is a material world and timeline of events that document how this culture came to be. As MEL’s resident boob culture writer and a woman of breast-experience, I’ll be analyzing these objects and happenings, telling the stories of their origins and their impact on society. This is Big Moments in Big Naturals.
In the 1999 film Varsity Blues, there’s a scene in which Ali Larter asks James Van Der Beek if he’d like an ice cream sundae. “Do you want whipped cream?” she says in a deep Texan accent. She then steps out of the frame, and we hear the whipped cream canister for about five seconds. When Larter returns, she’s completely naked except for two big round mountains of whipped cream on her chest, both of which are topped with cherries. There’s also a triangle of the stuff above her vulva.
Despite the improbability of it all — there’s no way she’d be able to assemble such a clean-looking whipped cream bikini in such little time, and sugary whipped cream has no business being anywhere near a vagina — the scene immediately became iconic, quickly establishing a correlation between breasts and food. But while one could hypothetically apply any edible to breasts, whipped cream has become its own erotic niche.
In fact, there have been enough whipped-cream boob scenes for people to make entire compendiums out of. On Mr. Skin, the website that documents every nude scene in TV and film history, there’s a whole playlist of “Boobs Covered in Whipped Cream,” featuring 23 instances of the combination. Still, Jim McBride, the man behind Mr. Skin, tells me the Varsity Blues scene is definitely the “enduring favorite.” “It continues to get daily searches 22 years later, even though it’s technically not nude,” he says. “Also, Ali Larter is actually covered in shaving cream, because the whipped cream kept melting off.”
Notably, says McBride, the scene is more popular than the actual nude scenes that appear in the film, like the one where the teacher, played by Tonie Perensky, moonlights as a stripper. Larter’s whipped cream bikini was even popular enough to be parodied by Chris Evans in Not Another Teen Movie, further cementing the “outfit” as a permanent trope in pop culture.
Neither of these represent the only inceptions of the form, though. Prior to Varsity Blues, whipped-cream titties appeared in film as early as 1978, when Lady Judi Dench of all people delicately dolloped it onto her nipples in Langrishe, Go Down. And in 1992, 1994 and 1995, whipped-cream scenes appeared in Almost Pregnant, Wild Malibu Weekend and Xena: Warrior Princess. Still, Varsity Blues remains the most frequently visited such scene on Mr. Skin.
“The second most popular whipped-cream scene is from the Winona Ryder movie Sex and Death 101, where Jessica Kiper goes topless and has whipped cream on just her nipples,” McBride tells me. “Shameless also had a popular scene featuring Vica Kerekes. And it doesn’t involve whipped cream, but the food and ice-cube sex scenes from Kim Basinger in 9 1/2 Weeks are iconic ‘nude with food’ scenes as well.”
Beyond the breasts it covers, there’s something sexy about whipped cream, too. In contrast to the more animalic aromas we produce through sex, sugary scents and tastes are often considered sensual, and the fluffy, cloud-like texture of whipped cream makes it feel ethereal and thrilling. Edible lubes almost exclusively rely on sweet, gourmand flavors like “Créme Brûlée,” “Frosted Cupcake” or “Salted Caramel,” and save for aphrodisiacs, foods associated with sex are almost always desserts. On Valentine’s Day, for example, people typically purchase boxes of chocolates or chocolate-covered strawberries.
All of this sweetness is a direct parallel to the language through which we often discuss romance, with “sweetie” and “honey” being popular pet names. Aside from that, milk comes out of boobs, and in a way, whipped cream is milk, transmogrified into a decadent, edible delight.
On a simpler level, it seems inherently more erotic to put whipped cream on your breasts than say, three-bean chili, and the fact that whipped cream can be strategically applied through its nozzle canister helps, too (but again, it’s not like Cheez Whiz is a common replacement). Thus, a topping most often used to accentuate a dessert seems most fitting as an accessory for breasts, too.
Of course, at the core of this adornment is the hope that the whipped cream will be licked off. It’s really not about the appearance of the whipped cream or the act of putting it on a breast, but the removal of it, sensually, with one’s tongue and lips. In that sense, it’s an invitation for new sensations and experimentation; one that feels like you’re making a literal treat out of a sex act that could otherwise be mundane.
What’s ironic about the whipped-cream bikini in Varsity Blues, then, is the fact that it goes unremoved, at least by Van Der Beek. It’s ultimately embarrassing for Larter’s character that she offered him such a grand display of her body, only for him to leave disinterested. Perhaps, though, in leaving the whipped cream unconsumed, Varsity Blues has only further stoked our collective imagination. If Van Der Beek didn’t lick it off, maybe we still have the chance.